Month: June 2017

Red Chair Travels to Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast

Venturing into the woods, The Red Chair arrived at Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast on a gorgeous May day. Hidden Serenity is tucked in a forest north of West Bend, Wisconsin. We offer a hiking trail on our property, a pickleball/sport court and excellent wildlife viewing outside. Indoors our guests enjoy billiards, spacious common areas, well-appointed rooms and a hot gourmet breakfast. Red will get treated very special here, just like our guests. Get ready, Red. You are about to get a tour of the beautiful Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, make a stop at the “big pond” – Lake Michigan, and take in some of the finest Wisconsin art.

A tour around the property was the first item on the agenda for Red at Hidden Serenity. Red relaxed in the garden with a few friends before taking to the court to try pickleball a fun paddle sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Not an easy sport for when you don’t have arms! Next Red ventured down the path through the woods and came upon Hidden Serenity’s wooden swings. Red and innkeeper Sally enjoy a few swings together on this gorgeous sunny day in Wisconsin.

Red had a special invitation to visit the Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary right across the street from its host, Hidden Serenity. With a chance to see huge elk, a cougar, wolves, many deer, bison and so many more animals, Red had decided to get up close and personal with the resident bears, Lewis and Clark. The Bears seemed curious, Red stayed on the other side of the fence to be safe. These were big bears! Red commented how nice it is to have this world-class zoo just across the street!

Hidden Serenity is located near the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin and Red was anxious to discover what that really means. A trip to pristine Mauthe Lake was a great introduction. Dipping his feet in the water and sitting at the end of the pier while kids were fishing and others were kayaking on the lake, Red could see why people love the peaceful waters and surrounding woods. But it was the trip up Parnell Tower in the heart of the forest that really helped Red understand what this area is all about. From high above the trees, Red could see the way that the glacier had made its mark on the land. Hills called Kames, Moraines, Eskers and the stunning Kettles dot the landscape and Red was in awe. The National Scenic Ice Age Trail winds its way through the forest and Red has to admit, it is a great workout!

After finishing up in the woods, Red heads over to Lake Michigan, specifically Port Washington. Red finds this darling marina town very welcoming as he meets two pirates near the lake. Red finds a spot to gaze out on the water and enjoy the breeze. Sailboats float by way out on the lake and closer by the seagulls wait for the fishermen to clean their catch. Red has discovered that many charters go out from here and many more fishermen fish right off the docks.

On the way back to Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast, Red makes a very worthwhile stop in West Bend at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA). Red felt right at home with some the dazzling art such as the Glass globe sculpture in this uniquely shaped building. Among the other fine works displayed here, Red found himself mesmerized by the works of Carl von Marr, a Wisconsin-born artist who studied in Germany in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Red sat and took in The Flagellants, by von Marr. A huge oil painting spanning 13’11” x 22’9”, Red gazed at the lifelike scenes that told a story of long ago. So real and so intriguing.

Time to head back to Hidden Serenity tucked in the woods. Red has found the stay here very peaceful, yet when he wanted to find some adventure there were some exciting things nearby. Goodbye hills and kettles of the Kettle Moraine and on to the next adventure.



The Red Chair Travels from Coast to Coast

Where travelers once held photos of Flat Stanley in unusual places, photographers now shoot photos of a humble red chair. Long considered simply a place to rest after a long day, the lowly wooden chair has been elevated to celebrity status, and is being welcomed at inns and B&Bs throughout America.It’s all part of a multi-year B&B awareness program that focuses on a traveling red porch chair to highlight the comfort, hospitality and friendliness of bed and breakfasts. Since its start in New England in 2012, B&Bs and inns have taken inspiring photos of the Red Chair from beaches to bandstands.

Thanks to a partnership with, the Red Chair is making its way across the United States, bringing attention to B&Bs and beautiful travel destinations. It traveled along the East Coast and Southern states in 2014, spent 2015 touring the West Coast, in 2016 Red went international by venturing through Canada all the way to Alaska, and 2017 will be the year of the Midwest. Participating B&Bs and inns listed on host the Red Chair, chronicling its stay with blog posts and photos on

This week thanks to the partnership with WBBA (Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association – the chair is making its way to The Northern Kettle Moraine and Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast.

It all started in winter 2012 with a single image. Woods Hole Inn innkeeper Beth Colt posted a picture on Facebook of her simple red chair perched on the ice behind her house and watched her page light up with “likes.” The picture was shared on the Facebook page of a nature photographer from California, who was inspired by the image to visit the Woods Hole Inn and took an amazing second photo of the chair on a local beach.

Throughout 2012 and early 2013, the Red Chair developed a personality of its own being photographed by innkeepers in communities from one end of New England to the other. Starting in Cape Cod, the Red Chair journeyed throughout the six New England states on a 9-month tour. “This chair is the little engine that could,” said Colt. “I could never have imagined that it would travel so far, to every corner of America, all on the kindness and hospitality of innkeepers. It’s a barn-raising of sorts; the sharing of a piece of Americana.” Stories from the Red Chair’s travels have been chronicled on blogs at each stop throughout its journey.

Check back on my blog site to find out where the Red Chair has been photographed near Hidden Serenity. Will the Red Chair find adventures and locations that you haven’t experienced yet? Maybe it will inspire you to take a journey yourself to Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast and see what and where the Red Chair has gone.

4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Stay at a Bed and Breakfast

Whether you are a first timer or you have stayed at two a year for the past 30 years, you may ask yourself what is the best way to get the most out of your stay at a bed and breakfast. Of course this can look different for each person, but I’ve put together a little list of ideas that you may want to try the next time you stay at a fabulous B&B

  • Relax. 
    • Find a spot – in your guestroom, on a porch, in front of a Relaxfireplace, or maybe a cozy spot in one of the common areas. Wherever it is, just chill. Get a book or magazine or just gander out the window and relax. At Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast our guests grab a cup of their favorite beverage and sit in the chairs by the large windows and watch wildlife. Or if weather is permitting they enjoy the deck out back or the porch swing in the front
  • Exchange stories with the innkeepers.
    • We find that our most satisfied guests are those that we have been able to get to know a little bit. Don’t worry, we do not want to use up your getaway time to chat endlessly with you, but a little chit-chat at check in and during breakfast can go a long way. Your stories are fascinating and unique and we’d love to hear them. Next time you visit please ask about the former hippies who met in the 70s. Great love story!
  • Pick the innkeeper’s brain.
    • Most of the innkeepers I know have lived in the area of their B&B for many years if not all their lives. Who better to ask about area activities, events and sites. Personally, we live in an area that has a lot available for our guests and we would love to share some of the hidden gems we’ve found through the years. And If we don’t know about something, we will find out for you!
  • Take advantage of the amenities the B&B offers.
    • Each inn is different and offers a variety of amenities to their guests. At Hidden Serenity Bed and Breakfast we have tried to give a guest plenty to chose from. Here’s some of what we offer right here at our inn- massages (individual or couples), hiking trail through our acres of woods, sport court (pickleball, basketball, tennis), billiard table, 24/7 Keurig machine, ice machine, microwave, large common area with great outdoor viewing. Our in-room amenities include a hidden TV, DVD player, Netflix, wine cooler, robes, mood lighting, comfortable chairs and more.

One quick story about making the best of your stay at a bed and breakfast – we had one couple who didn’t waste any time while staying here. They went biking and hiking in the morning on the nearby State Forest trails, kayaking in the afternoon on The Milwaukee River, used the two person jacuzzi in their room and then went out for dinner at a fabulous restaurant, the Poplar Inn, in West Bend. The next day they took a stroll on our hiking trail, came back for our gourmet breakfast, enjoyed their pre-scheduled couples massage by our licensed therapists and then relaxed and played some pool before they packed up and went home. Now that is a lot in one day, but they had a blast and enjoyed every minute of it.

So next time you head to a bed and breakfast, try a few of my suggestions. Some of them may be just what you are looking for and others might not be your thing. That is the beauty of bed and breakfasts, unique, personal and special.